Michigan DOT says I-75 section will need replacement due to wrong concrete mix use

Nov. 27, 2019

The agency stated that the half-mile section is not unsafe; the issue is long-term resilience

The Michigan DOT said the left two lanes on northbound I-75 from 13 1/2 Mile to 14 Mile roads in Oakland County will need to replaced, even though they were just recently paved. Crews will also relay the shoulders on the exit ramps to Big Beaver and Rochester Roads.

The reason behind this needed repair is that inspection teams working on Segment 2 of the I-75 modernization project discovered that the project’s contractor used the wrong concrete mix on this section of the road. Work on the affected area is slated to start next year.

Despite the “mix up,” MDOT insists the road is safe to drive. The decision to go in and replace this pavement section concerns the long-term quality and resiliency of the roadway.

“This is inspectors doing their jobs,” said MDOT Metro Region Engineer Kimberly Avery. “The pavement designated for replacement is safe for drivers to use, but the long-term durability is compromised and the reason for our actions.”

2020 is the final year of the overall I-75 freeway project. The $224 million project involves reconstructing more than 8 miles of pavement in each direction, improving 18 structures, upgrading drainage, constructing community-developed aesthetics and federally approved noise walls, and continuing construction of an additional travel lane between Coolidge Highway and 13 Mile Road.

“This [decision] is the equivalent to enforcing a warranty,” Avery said. "This action does not add additional costs to the contract and protects the taxpayer investment in the future.”

At present, both directions of I-75 are using the southbound side of the freeway and are separated by a concrete barrier between 13 Mile and Coolidge. Two lanes are open in each direction.

Weather delays have plagued the project since this past spring; crews have lost some 60 days to adverse conditions since March. In a statement, MDOT noted: “The delay is primarily due to lost production caused by an abnormally wet spring, heavy rain events during the summer, extreme temperatures, and a record snowfall in November. The process to move northbound traffic onto the northbound lanes and opening additional lanes will be completed in stages starting this month.”